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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (in Canada that is)

Well a very nice Thanksgiving weekend is over now, two dinners, one at my in-laws in the country and one here for the city kids. I had the bright idea of doing a healthy dinner this year, prompted by two young men in the extended family who have at, 28 and 32, recently developed very serious heart conditions (not direct relatives these are related by marriage, but still very upsetting) which has made me think that I want to make sure I am feeding the family responsibly. I get ideas like this every now and then.

As a result my husband BBQ'd the turkey (video to follow with his instructions) and there was no gravy and no stuffing. Very moist, the turkey was and very heart smart. Also no pumpkin pie this year, a pear and apple crumble. Well the troops revolted, it was good they said but not the same, so Christmas will definitely be built around gravy, stuffing, pie, and tradition. I can cook fat free the rest of the year they said but not at the holidays. Someone said to me once that you should make sure that you start out your holiday traditions the way you want to keep them until the end of time because those expectations are permanent.

A poignant moment for me was a story my new son-in-law told me. The matron of honour at the wedding was an old school friend of my daughter's, from grade three on. This girl apparently told the group when I wasn't around, with tears in her eyes, that she could remember when they were growing up that my daughter never had the brand name clothes the other kids had because she always wore the funny clothes I made her but that my daughter was so loyal to me that she was proud of her clothes and wore them even though they weren't cool like everyone else's.

Only a sewer will understand how I felt when I heard that. Of course I had no idea that my daughter's clothes were anything but the envy of all her classmates with all the work I put into them. I actually always assumed that the other kids must be really be wishing their moms sewed too.  In fact if you asked me one of the things I miss the most now the kids are adults are the quiet afternoons I sometimes had when I sewed for them, and how good it felt to do something for them - to me it let me send a little bit of myself off with them when they went out into the world.

This is still a nice story anyway.


katherine h said...

This is a hard one...I always felt I wasn't "cool" in my homemade clothes...yet here I am, sewing all my clothes as an adult. I think the "not cool" bit does push me to learn better techniques and learn more about picking styles to suit and choosing fabrics and colour. Now, I love talking to my Mum about sewing projects and am very grateful that she passed on both her sewing skills and her introduction to Vogue magazine. I think the "not cool" feeling came about because I didn't know who I wanted to be, rather than the homemade clothes I blamed at the time. If your daughter wore the clothes proudly, then all your efforts were worth it.

Barbara said...

Such a nice thoughts about your Mom, thanks for sharing that, and your own insights. Why we sew and how we feel about it is so tied to our emotions and relationships. I think both you and your mother are lucky to share the same interests and tastes. I should add that I sew for my daughter now she is an adult again, and yes for her friends too.